The main aim of the ISIIMM project: "identify and deal with the current contradictions associated with the local management of water for irrigation in Mediterranean watershed areas through innovatory social and institutional solutions…".
The context of water management in the two French Mediterranean regions falls squarely within this objective. The Languedoc-Roussillon and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) regions offer an historical, social, institutional, hydraulic, and agricultural richness… which places irrigation canals at the very heart of land planning and development.
- historical: our forefathers built an exemplary grid of irrigation canals, which we should take care of, maintain and develop.
- institutional: water management takes place in a concerted way, with the different water users, the local authorities and the administrative bodies.
- social: the management of the irrigation canals is one example of water management and a democratic operation. The principle for the management of the installations by
- hydraulic: several thousands of kilometres of irrigation canals cross the Mediterranean territory. Here there is a variety of hydraulic installations: clay or modernised gravity-fed canals, pressurised irrigation canals the result of large planning developments.
- agricultural: these irrigation canals are generally managed by the agricultural community so as to satisfy its needs in water. Faced with a climate marked by droughts
linked to the Mediterranean region, water is vital for agriculture.
- territorial: the irrigation canals are an integral part of the landscape, they daily fashion our so characteristic
This traditional management of these canals is gradually being shaken by a changing regulatory context and increasingly conflicting links with other users of the resource. The canals should begin a process of adaptation so as not to lose their place and their role in a territory shared between all the water players.
The project MEDA ISIIMM – France is based upon 2 study sites: the River Durance (in the PACA Region), and the Têt Valley (in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region). It undertakes
both a territorial, historical, hydraulic, institutional … etc. presentation of these 2 sites, and an approach to the social innovations, in the context of water management, and provides recommendations.